What’s going on with the used-car market?
We’re continuing to see used cars become more prevalent. Off-lease vehicles and rising new-vehicle prices are drive that trend. Dealers are used to having very little margin on front-end profit, however that margin is continuing to be squeezed by manufacturer and consumer demands. Because of this, dealers are making up that margin on the back-end with F&I products and through used vehicle sales. Those dealerships that will be the most successful in the years to come know how to manage used vehicle inventories and F&I products.
What’s going on with the service drive?
Every year, industry pundits discuss the importance of service drive retention and those discussions aren’t going away any time soon. It’s still true that the most loyal customers are the ones that use a dealer’s service department. Just like with sales, dealers are looking for creative solutions, beyond maintenance and repair work, to get customers back in the door. We’re seeing dealers buy more car washes. They’re evaluating what other value-added services can be sold through the service drive. And, they’re investing in sales training for service managers.